In The BalanceSeptember 26, 2012
The Good River StyxOctober 16, 2012
The following is an excerpt from the 2013 Astrological Almanac.This handy tome contains descriptions of every day, monthly summaries, an ephemeris, a yearly walk-through, and more. The 2015 Astrological Almanac is now available- secure yours today.
In Scorpio, Saturn brings attention to the ways we deal with life’s most intense topics: sex, death, transformation and spirituality. Yet these most potent experiences are the ones we all hold at arm’s length. The intimacy involved in sex, death, revelation and change is something we must maintain some distance from, lest they destroy our ego. Thus we develop a dissociation, a wall of fear that keeps us comfortably separated from them. Saturn’s time in Scorpio hits us with a slow moving x-ray, exposing our deeply held beliefs and fears about this cluster of experiences.
La Petit Morte
The beliefs and practices which structure sexual activity are highlighted during Saturn’s time in Scorpio. Saturn in Scorpio pushes us to examine the way we have constructed our sexual practice. The idea of a constructed sexual practice may make perfect sense to some, but others will wonder what is constructed or arbitrary about what is often a simple act governed by the natural logic of interlocking parts.
Yet research into the history of human sexuality reveals a surprising multiplicity of viewpoints, with the meaning of sexuality and practice diverging significantly across cultures. Even the concept of the “homosexual” or “being gay” as a permanent condition is only a little over a hundred years old in the West. The acts existed before, but they weren’t considered to define a person.
This degree to which sexuality can be structured is made explicit in most religious and spiritual practices. A Catholic priest must be celibate, Taoist adepts must conserve their sexual essence, while some Tantrics co-mingle theirs with another’s in a complex ritual structure, and a magician of Austin Osman Spare’s lineage orgasms with a specific, sigilized intention.
What is interesting about Saturn in Scorpio is that it does not push a person to either celibacy or promiscuity. It simply pushes a person to deeply consider what they’re doing with their sexuality, and why. Saturn in Scorpio pushes for definition and refinement of sexual theory and practice, but not in any particular direction. On a cultural level, Saturn in Scorpio pushes people to further codify and define sexual practices and subcultures.
The Book of the Dead
Saturn in Scorpio also brings the individual and collective focus to how we understand and deal with death. Here we see the whole range of ideas about of what happens to the intangible portion of us when we die, as well as what to do with the very tangible portion. Thus Saturn will push many to explore what may happen next and also to consider what they might want done with what remains. There will be some controversy surrounding what is legal or moral to do with remains during Saturn’s time in the Scorpions.
Saturn’s time in Scorpio has, in past installments, also unleashed death in unprecedented forms. Saturn’s last run through the tunnels saw AIDS come into public awareness, pushing sex and death into a more intimate relationship than we would generally prefer and leading to a change in both the meaning and the practice of sexuality.
If I Die Before I Wake
In the beginning, sex and death made wild free love. Sex got pregnant and gave birth to religion, which has spent the entire time since trying to regulate the behavior of its primordial parents. Although religion has more functions, two of its most vital are the explanation and cultural structuring of sex and death, the two most immanent mysteries. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of a serious rethinking of sex and death without considering the spiritual consequences.
Saturn in Scorpio also highlights the way that we channel and make meaning out of our spiritual experiences. Ritual is the structuring principle of religious praxis. With ritual we recreate the odd conditions of gnosis and replicate them. For Saturn’s run through Scorpio this time, Neptune will be in Pisces, amplifying the spiritual aspects of Saturn in Scorpio.
Somewhere between sex, death and religion is magic, the so-called occult. Saturn’s time in Scorpio will no doubt see the growing movement of practitioners of magical religions – collectively referred to as “pagans” – intersect more openly with the public sphere. The issue of legal rights and protections as well as sparks of cultural friction will be inevitable during this period
We Have Nothing to Fear But…Witches!
Our relationships with sex, death, change and spirituality are all wrought with fear. The power of fear and overcoming the power of fear is the key to all of these topics. And so Saturn in Scorpio speaks to the essence of our relationship to fear itself. Saturn’s last few runs through Scorpio have witnessed paranoia on a massive level.
Saturn was in Scorpio from 1924-1926. During this time the KKK was the most popular men’s organization in a America, with an estimated membership of nearly 5 million. The next time Saturn was in Scorpio, between 1953-1955, it presided over the height of McCarthyism and Cold War paranoia. Although the target of these festivals of fear was not witches, the witch-hunt mentality was obviously an important component of this pass of Saturn through Scorpio.
Saturn was in Scorpio again between late 1982 and 1985, when the “Satanic Ritual Abuse” scare gained panic status in the United States. This crazed witch-hunt dragged thousands of people’s lives and reputations into the gutter, based on the shaky testimony of hypnotized children
Based on the history, it seems unlikely that we’ll get through this time around without a little witchhunting. In the US, this will likely come as a conservative reaction to the proliferation of new and alternative spiritual practices, especially those of an explicitly magical or occult nature.
In Alchemy, the Scorpion is associated with the process of putrefaction, or in common parlance, rotting. Saturn’s presence in the scorpion’s sign holds our attention on the putrefied, the corrupt, the rotten.
On a visible level, political corruption will be highlighted during this time. We should see a number of high profile investigations and cases during Saturn’s time in Scorpio.
In the natural world, though, putrefaction is a precursor to fecundity. The compost rots only to become the best goddamn fertilizer you could possibly get your hands on. Thus putrefaction is the icky first stage of transformation. The old does not simply disappear to make room for the new. No, the old must decompose until it can become the soil which nourishes the new. This holds for personal processes of transformation as well as for socio-political ones. Change: It’s gross.
The preceding was an excerpt from my2013 Astrological Almanac. This handy tome contains descriptions of every day, monthly summaries, horoscopes, an ephemeris, a yearly walk-through, and more. The 2015 Astrological Almanac is now available- consider a copy for yourself.